Walnut cake

ep62-walnut_cake

Walnut Cake

Ingredients

 

 

2 medium pears, cored and finely sliced

2 tbs. brown sugar

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup of brown sugar

100g butter, melted

6 white eggs, whisked firmly

300g walnut, finely blended in a food process to form a coarse powder

pinch of cinnamon

½ cup of self-raising flour(this was because I had no Baking powder in the house!)

Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Mehod

Preheat the oven at 200 C

Grease a round 23cm mould and place a sheet of baking paper at the bottom, then neatly arrange the slices of pear on the base of the mould. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Mix yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Now add the butter, cinnamon, walnut meal and sifted self-raising flour and mix together until smooth. Delicately fold in the egg white.

Pour the mixture over the pears in the mould. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Now lower the temperature to 170C and for a further 20 minutes. Check with a skewer to make sure the cake is cooked.

When cooked allow to rest until the tin is cool enough to handle. Now to de-mould, flip the cake onto a plate. Serve with a crème Anglaise (custard), vanilla ice cream, or yogurt or fresh cream

 

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Sharing and reflecting …

I have been doing so much lately, so much that I really feel like I need to spend some time and energy to pause and write in here today. It’s amazing how much it seems like time has just flown..it’s been over a month since I last wrote in here already!So much has happened since I last had an entry!

Primarily, a lot of family stuff, preparation and celebrations have taken place in the last month.

As well as many changes within me.

I have been able to be so much more in touch with what I want to do and leave aside the other distractions I had been allowing in my life for the last few months. My focus has been on meditation, exercise, journalling, posting on Facebook page, researching more about  things to implement in our health lifestyle at home, working on my website, implementing a new book reviews blog(which I will share once it has some content!), updating my other blog, and so much more!!

Just writing all this down, has me feeling exhausted thinking about it. But really, I have made immense progress and I am really proud of myself for this. In the meantime,  I have seen myself lapsing in other areas of my life whilst giving all this my full attention..but instead of beating myself up over it, I am embracing it and taking note of my observations. I have given myself two weeks to catch up on all this. Then I need to focus on our financial future – plans we’ve had in the pipe line, that have also fallen by the wayside in the last few months. All in good time! This is the time. I am feeling like things just need and want to get done…and despite not having much sleep lately, somehow, I am finding the energy and the time to do most of it. I am doing my best to balance the kids and the attention that they need too. One repeated pattern that I have noticed, is that when I am focusing on things like the above mentioned, I tend to want to eat sugar! That’s what I have been doing for the last week or so. I want to write more about this but will do so in my thinspirational journey blog!

Meanwhile, I have been loving meditating with my hubby every night. Although, I completed the 21 day meditation with the Chopra centre successfully. I decided to purchase them so that I could keep it up. It’s been amazing to share this experience with my hubby every night after the kids go to bed, before we each get on with our own activities.  The best thing is that he is feeling the advantages, and missing it when we miss a day here and there! So, that has just become part of our daily routine now and I am glad to not just do it on my own.

Also been loving keeping up with Melody Beattie’s daily meditation books(well daily is not quite true, but I am sure to make up for the ones that I do miss). Gratitude journal has lapsed a little but I feel in touch with my soul through the meditation books and sharing quotes from those books on my pages!

Finally, I feel like the lack of sleep is catching up with me today though. For the last week,  I have been staying up till 1-3am! Still investing my energies where it is needed but I think my mind and body is feeling it today.

The one thing that was keeping me very busy last night was udating my tumblr blog. I keep a collection of all my own quotes there for my own records as well for anyone who may stumble upon it and benefit. I decided to update them a little and add pics to the quotes – which ended up taking up more time than I though it would, as I didn’t realise how many quotes I had written! I loved going over them again, and having the energy that I put into the quote just slam me in the face. Many are positive ones, but there were a few which I felt the emotions of the moment when I wrote the quote. I am glad that I decided to set that up because I can always go back and benefit from the wisdom that sometimes washes over me. hehe

I think I will leave this here. Wrote a lot more than I expected to write, as usual. I am glad to empty some of the clutter in my mind here though. It helps so much to have this blog and the others that I have. It’s truly liberating!

Thanks for reading my release !! :) :) :)

Leave you with this beautiful reflection/poem from another Melody Beattie meditation book I just purchased, Journey to the Heart:

Let your storms subside

Let the emotions pass through.
Feel all you need to feel.
Say all you need to say to let the storm subside.
Then pause.
Wait
Rest.
Let your body regroup and heal.
You will have grown. 
You will have changed.
And you’ll be on your way to learning something new!
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Organic Vanilla Cupcakes

ORGANIC VANILLA CUPCAKES

Ingredients(makes 24)

  • 200g  organic butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or cap full of vanilla essence
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups (405g) organic self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) skim milk

Butter frosting

  • 200g organic butter, softened
  • 6 cups (900g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) skim milk

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 1/3 cup (80ml) muffin pans with patty cases.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Spoon mixture evenly among the patty cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

For the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until very pale.

Gradually add the icing sugar while beating. Add the milk and beat until well combined.

Use a small palette knife or round-bladed knife to spread the icing or alternatively using piping bag
****
I got the original recipe from Taste.com but changed some of the ingredients and made it more organic. This all started as I have been practicing making cupcakes, which I hope to make for my daughter’s 2nd birthday in a couple of week’s time…I mostly need practice with decorating, not my best talent – but I figure I can only improve with practice! :)
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Carrot & Walnut Cake Recipe

CARROT & WALNUT CAKE

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 2 cups organic self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups grated carrot = 2 large carrots or 3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • Walnuts, to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 19cm square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour, spice and cinnamon into a bowl. Add sugar, carrot, chopped walnuts, oil and eggs. Stir to combine. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean (cover loosely with foil if over-browning). Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Butter frosting

  • 200g organic butter, softened
  • 6 cups (900g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk

For the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until very pale. Gradually add the icing sugar while beating. Add the milk and beat until well combined.

Use a small palette knife or round-bladed knife to spread the icing.
Spread frosting over cake. Decorate with walnuts. Serve.
I got the original recipe from Taste.com but mostly changed it to organic ingredients! :)
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Day 4 of Week 2 Detox

I have been feeling like sharing in here since yesterday but never got the chance until now!

Yesterday was Day 3 of my 7 day detox. Both yesterday and today have been my toughest. I actually felt like just giving it up today and eating. Especially, when I smelled my son’s raisin toast  yesterday and then today, after I made a beautiful Spinach & potato Fritata with salad for the family. It looked so delicious. I will admit that I did take a bit off my husband’s plate to taste if it had enough salt or flavour. I could have kept eating it but I didn’t, I went back to my especially made Spicy Butternut pumpkin & sweet potato soup – which was deliciously filling!

After not working out on Monday, I made up for it on Tuesday by going for a long walk in the afternoon to pick up the boys from school, then I had a few errands to run, so we walked to the shopping centre to do that and then walked home..took a total of 55 mins! Although it was  a beautiful day, by the time we were walking home, the sun had decided to hide behind the clouds, which made it a very cold walk in the end. I was truly buggered after that and there was no way I was going to even attempt to workout with Jillian for 30mins as well.

I saved that for Wednesday instead, 30 mins of Ripped & 30 mins of Yoga –  and boy, am I feeling that today!!!

My initial plan was to do Ripped in 30 for the next 3 days but felt like I needed to give my arms a bit of a rest from the weights and  push ups for today, so instead did 55 mins of Step aerobics with good old Jane Fonda! Which I thought would be a little walk in the park for my arms, but noooo…it wasn’t at all. So I am pretty sore at the moment, suffice to say. lol

How am I getting through this despite the urge to just eat and give up?

Well, I keep telling myself it’s only for 7 days, plus it’s not the full on Lemon detox which helps so much as that can get tiring on the palate after a while. So I have almost completed Day 4, therefore there is only 3 more  days and I can so do this after having done a full on detox for 28 days 2-3 months ago!

This time around, I have to admit that it is partly a physical experience because I do want to ensure that I fit in my Forever New dress on my niece’s birthday on the 18th of August. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to get myself back on track, like a reset. What I also found is that when I am detoxing, I have more of an appetite for health. I am more motivated to cook and bake things that are different, and wholesome! So I really need to find a way to anchor this feeling and motivation that I have right now. I am seeing that my mindset needs to be that this is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix or the next diet fad. I suppose that this is a hard habit to break as diet fads are pretty much how I have mostly managed my weight in the past. Now, I have to really rethink everything…mostly that this is how I want to live my life for always, not temporarily.

I know that everything happening is part of the journey, part of the learning. There are no wrong or right answers here. Just me discovering what is best along the way…and sometimes, as I am discovering, that could mean going 10 steps forward and 5 steps back – just so that I can be clear that the old path is not one that I want to reintroduce in my life(processed foods).

There are others out there, reading this right now, probably wondering why I seem to be putting myself through some kind of torture with these detoxes. Personally, I think this is the best thing for MY body. I really feel that it’s important to give my body a rest from all the foods that I usually eat.  Although, I have cut out a lot of processed foods, I am still in the process of adopting more raw foods, vegetables and fruits in my diet(and my family’s). After the last detox, I found that I am no longer able to eat too many red or white meats, hence why I introduced more vegetarian dishes in our weekly menu plan at home. And I think that we are all benefiting greatly from this as it does give our digestive system a break from always trying to break down meats (and thankfully, processed meats such as ham, bacon, etc..are no longer part of this – they are now only eaten rarely! Really as more of a once in a while treat – a long while!!)

I see this all over the internet, Do detoxes work? Well, it’s a very general question and I think it really comes down to individuals and how you plan to make it so that the detox works for your body and your lifestyle choice. In the end, we all do what we feel is right for our body. Our body tells us exactly what it needs, everyday…we need only to listen to it!!

So you see, this is all a process. There’s no end result. It’s all a working progress…even if I have gone back a few steps, I am still willing to keep marching forward and cover those steps again – whatever it takes! Not saying there won’t be more mishaps…most likely will be, but as long as I have the drive and desire to implement this healthy living in my life – it will happen!!!

I think I have ranted enough for now… enough to get things out of my head, so that I am clearer as to where I am going.

SO I thank you for reading and giving me the time to let things out.

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Week 2 of Detox

Firstly, I would like to go into my progress for Week 1 of Detox.

Overall, I probably exchanged about 1kg. Which basically brings me back where I was before the whole 2 week binge. I know that it’s not suppose to be about the kilos exchanged, but it does help me to have a goal to work towards for this purpose. I am not putting any figure to the scale this time around because this is really about how  the feelings this brings for me within…

I feel better in myself and worked out for 5 days last week and then had to slow down for women’s monthly business :)

The week went very well until I got to the weekend, where I then splurged a little out on my date with hubby on Saturday night and a bit of a family treat on Sunday. I am feeling good in myself though. Especially after doing Billy Blanks ultimate boot camp on Friday – which I expected to be sore from, but surprisingly was not! I wanted something challenging, and I certainly got that :)

Today is my first day of Week #2 plan.

Because I only did a full Lemon detox but 2 months ago or so, I am not doing it as full on this time around.

This is my plan for the next 7 days:

Breakfast: Fruit smoothie & Herbal Tea

Lunch: Lemon Detox & Herbal Tea

Dinner: Vegetable Soups only & Herbal Tea

Snacks: Fruits or vegies & lots of water

No exercise today again because my body was not yet ready for it but will make up for it in a double Jillian session tomorrow  and hopefully a walk too as we are expecting beautiful weather in Melbourne :)

Meditation has also been going well but unfortunately the 21 day challenge is now over with the Chopra Centre…so now it’s up to me to keep the new habit going.

That’s all for today and hopefully have more updates throughout the week – I may need to vent! Otherwise, next week  :)

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Week 1 of Detox/Back on Track

I can’t believe that it’s been almost a month since I last posted here. My goodness, where does the time go???

I have written a lot of posts in my mind but again there is the time factor and also the major factor of sometimes I just don’t feel like actually writing in here!! I know that it helps me immensely when I do but it’s getting my mind to get my body to do this action. Lol..sometimes, actually most of the time, I am happy just browsing and looking at what others write and sharing this. It’s the lazy way! But it’s better than nothing as this helps me to remain inspired.

Well the last time I wrote in here I updated about how I went on the 30 day challenge. In the last 3 weeks – things have been hectic in terms of emotional issues as well as energetic changes – and when this happens, I eat! I ate all the things that I shouldn’t as well as drank all the things that I shouldn’t. I know I am being tougher on myself than it actually was – reflecting now, I made conscious choices still! The biscuits that I ate were either made or labels were carefully read! lol I was proud of myself for not falling out of practice with this. There was once or twice when I just didn’t care and just had it! So yes, this all equates to a lot of emotional eating. It’s how I coped for the last 2 weeks. What I am most proud of myself about, is the fact that I recognised it, but not enough to stop it, because I wanted to go through it! Many reasons for this that I won’t go into today.

Meanwhile, Monday was the start of my plan to detox my body from all that I have embellished it with and get myself back on track with the healthy habits I have adopted(not that all went, it’s the snacking that really got out of hand!)

My plan for this Week – being Week 1(this is a weekly countdown to my niece’s birthday party on the 18th of August):

  • Cut out breads and rice from everyday diet (again, not totally out of control, but more than needs be was in diet)
  • Stop eating after 8pm every night(except for Friday or Saturday nights – gotta give myself rewards!)
  • Workout plan for the next 3 weeks(all updated in calendar)
  • Continue meditation(been doing the 21 day challenge with Chopra Centre) and reintroduce yoga
  • Drink more water
  • Make/drink more fruit smoothies as before
  • Snack only on nuts/dried fruits or fresh fruits
  • Make soup and have this for lunches
  • Increase vegetarian meals from 2 meals a week to 3!
  • More rest
  • Exercise early in the morning at least 3 times a week

I am happy with how drastic of a change this has made on my body – showing me that this is truly the way to be and live. The last 2 weeks, with the eating habits I picked up again, I was feeling so tired, lethargic and extremely cranky!!!But since I even merely made the decision to change all that around, by the end of Monday, I already felt like a massive load off my body! Isn’t that amazing? I know you read about it and so on – pretty much everyday, but when it is actually happening to you, that’s when you connect with what others share!

Meditation and yoga has been helping me immensely – mostly to get centered and reconnecting with my spirit, my mind and body!

So far, I would say that Week 1 is a success, preparing me for Week 2, which will be a little more drastic but necessary in this instance as my poor body has been battered too much by me allowing my emotions to take over!

I am so happy to see and feel all the changes that I have implemented already. Muscle memory is amazing and that includes the brain!

Next week, I will share Week 2’s plan. Thanks for reading!!! ;-)

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